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Engaging Entrepreneurship with Bridging Innovation Week’s 2023 Programming

Wheeling, WV – Bridging Innovation Week will take place April 17-20, 2023. This year’s annual symposium will be our biggest and most comprehensive yet, featuring a wide range of events, competitions, and networking opportunities. Bridging Innovation Week promotes and fosters entrepreneurship by bringing together engage
stakeholders from across the Mountain State to cultivate a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. The 2023 host site for Bridging Innovation Week is Wheeling, West Virginia.

“We are excited to bring Bridging Innovation Week to Wheeling. After last year’s event, we noticed it was difficult for those from the Northern Panhandle to engage,” said Tara St. Clair, Co-Chair. “Bringing it to Wheeling is a great opportunity to bring it to a new part of the state to collaborate with local public and private partners.”

The 2023 program will kick off on Monday, April 17th. The University of Charleston will be hosting their Ideas, Innovation, and Invention (I3) Competition in Charleston, WV. In Wheeling, several local events will kick off the week. Wheeling Heritage and the Wheeling Area Chamber will be hosting an open Business After Hours from 4:30-6 p.m. at the River City Atrium, immediately followed by the Show of Hands Competition, a community-supported crowd-funding event, at 6 p.m. at the Wheeling Artisan Center. That evening, Country Roads Angel Network will also be hosting a private funders event.

On Tuesday, the WV Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Conference will be hosted from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Oglebay Resort. The event features a vendor showcase, a formal program that includes compelling keynotes, engaging panels, and hands-on workshops, and a networking reception. Immediately following, participants will be invited to head to Mingle at the Market in Downtown Wheeling at the Centre Market for an artisan fair and local dining and shopping.

The Towngate Theater will also be hosting Arts & Veteran Pitch Competitions beginning at 5:00 p.m. and open to the public for support. West Virginia’ Statewide Competition Day will take place on Wednesday, April 19 at Oglebay Resort. The day features Marshall University’s Business Model Competition at 10:00 a.m., the West Virginia Statewide High School, College, and Community Business Plan Competitions beginning at 12:00 p.m., and a Vantage Ventures
Demo at 4:15 p.m. A private reception and awards ceremony will take place at 5:00 p.m. to recognize and fund participating businesses.

The final event of the week, Youth Entrepreneurship in Action Day, will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Oglebay Resort. Open to West Virginia students and educators, this event is a partnership between the WV Department of Education and West Virginia University Extension Services to provide hands-on learning opportunities for high school students in entrepreneurship and innovation. Up to 200 students will attend in-person and over 1,000 kits for remote learning will be distributed to students across the state.

Bridging Innovation Week 2023 is made possible through generous sponsors. Week sponsors include the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the West Virginia Department of Economic Development, the West Virginia Department of Education, the Encova Foundation, and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

For more information on this year’s event, visit WV BusinessLink. For more information on Bridging Innovation Week and the WV Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Conference, contact Co-Chairs Amber Ravenscroft and Tara St. Clair.